We’re Going to DC to Become Lobbyists for a Day

We’re Going to Washington, DC to Become Lobbyists for a Day (or Two)!

By Dorene Petersen and Erika Yigzaw

Natural Products Association Natural Products Day 2016

Every year, members of the natural products industry gather in Washington, DC to celebrate Natural Products Day (April 12 & 13 this year). They gather to support and educate U.S. leaders on the importance of natural products in promoting the health of our society. This year, we’re going in person to help lobby our leaders for increased awareness around the health benefits of using natural products.

Our natural products community, and particularly the Natural Products Association, is working hard to promote the importance of public and consumer education on natural product manufacturing practices and safe everyday uses. The Natural Products Association, or NPA, hosts a number of events each year around the country, from the big Expo West and Expo East events in Anaheim and Baltimore and trainings in Las Vegas. They offer training in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as well as labeling compliance and other topics.

Natural Products Day is an annual two-day conference hosted by NPA to advocate and “provide retailers, suppliers, and all industry stakeholders from across the country with the opportunity to become lobbyists for a day.”

This year, both of us are delighted to be attending this event in person. Since we’re both from New Zealand, lobbying doesn’t really come naturally, so we’re excited to have some training and opportunities to practice!

This week is a very educational week: We were already to be in Washington, DC attending the 90th Annual Distance Education Accrediting Commission Conference (www.deac.org), featuring a keynote presentation from Ryan Craig, a founding Managing Director of University Ventures and the author of College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education.

We’re fortunate to be networking with some of the brightest experts in the distance education field and celebrating 90 years of student-centered accreditation with our colleagues and friends at DEAC! This year marks the 14th year since ACHS became accredited with DEAC (then DETC).

Funny enough, this trip has given us a first hand opportunity to benefit from the natural products we teach about! We stepped off the plane in DC with sore throats (recycled air + people with germs = bad news!). But within two blocks of our hotel was a GNC with a range of our favorite herbs, including Olive Leaf Extract and Holy Basil. A few capsules and the next morning we woke up feeling fighting fit!

Of course, given the labeling limitations of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA), we were glad to have our own expertise to draw from. But that is a soapbox for another day! We also always travel with our own essential oil kits, so those came in handy.

We will report back on what we learn tomorrow and how we get on lobbying on Wednesday! Comment here and let us know what you’d like us to share!


Disclosure of Material Connection: We are the President and the CSO of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are our own. If this blog contains affiliate links, they will be marked with an asterisk. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.